The “I’s” of Corinth: Modern Problems Not New

By Mary Jane Woodger

Mary Jane Woodger, “The ‘I’s’ of Corinth: Modern Problems Not New,” in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles, 31st Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2002), 41–56.

The “I’s” of Corinth: Modern Problems Not New

Mary Jane Woodger

 

Mary Jane Woodger was an assistant professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University when this was published.

 

President Howard W. Hunter said: “The witness of Paul to the saints at Corinth, and the message applies to us in this day, living as we do in a world that can be compared in many ways to Corinth of old. In a society of turmoil, immorality, free-thinking, and questioning of the reality of God, we reach out for the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” [1]

At times, the society in which we live can infiltrate our congregations. Imagine an Area Authority Seventy receiving a letter from a newly sustained branch president in a secluded area of the world asking for advice on how to handle issues dealing with his branch members. Is it too far-fetched to suppose those problems could include members suing each other in civil court and indiscreetly frequenting social clubs where commodities contrary to Church standards were openly served? Think of that same Area Authority Seventy receiving e-mails that included narratives of intoxicated men participating in the sacrament ordinance and women insisting on conducting meetings, refusing to submit to presiding priesthood leaders. Imagine it being reported that one branch member, rather than bearing testimony, consistently boasted of being baptized by a certain General Authority. Picture a missionary visiting this same branch and finding a Gospel Doctrine teacher who uses the words of a world-renowned philosopher for his curriculum and local Relief Society sisters who are so insecure that they argue about whose spiritual gifts are more important. In addition, imagine an Area Authority Seventy’s thoughts upon learning that his warning to excommunicate those involved with fornication had been disregarded—an incestuous relationship was openly being flaunted at meetings by two branch members while local leadership simply looked the other way.

Such a severely troubled branch, in desperate need of a strong local leader or an attentive Area Authority Seventy, was precisely what the Apostle Paul faced. Alarming reports had reached him from several sources concerning Church members in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 1:11, 5:1–3, 7:1, 16:12–17). If all the problems in the Corinthian branch existed in one congregation today, it would seem overwhelming, but Latter-day Saints can certainly conceive of some of these same situations surfacing in their own wards. This paper will center on the application of gospel principles as taught by Paul to modern-day issues such as intellectualism, inappropriate actions, immorality, indiscretion, insubmissiveness, and insecurity.

Intellectualism

The Corinth of Paul’s day was an important port city of industry and commerce founded by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Greek philosophy and Hellenistic culture permeated the cosmopolitan center that lay on a strategic four-mile isthmus. [2] The pool of people from which Paul found converts had been raised as Greeks and were already hellenized. [3] With this hellenization came an inappropriate emphasis on educational opportunities. Greeks boasted of being taught at the feet of self-proclaimed intellectuals and then espoused these mentors’ teachings.

The worldly influence of intellectual mentors infiltrated the early Christian Church at Corinth. The pride of the Corinthian Saints in their personal mentors surfaced as they boasted of being baptized by the most reputed priest. They pitted one Apostle against another in a kind of mentor one-upmanship: “Every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:12). Paul denounced their boasting: “I thank God that I baptized none of you” (1 Corinthians 1:14). He explained that it is the message rather than the messenger that takes preeminence in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul proclaimed that the gospel of Jesus Christ would “destroy the wisdom of the wise and . . . bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:19). Paul refused to teach “with [the] wisdom of words” through the intellect alone (1 Corinthians 1:17). Teaching “by the foolishness of preaching,” Paul claimed to know nothing except for the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:21). Though his pharisaic credentials were impressive, he “determined not to know any thing . . . save Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:1–2).

In the Church of Christ the wisdom of men is not the deciding factor in becoming a disciple of Christ. God chooses the foolish to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Apostles declare adamantly that “true religion is not a matter of intellectuality or of worldly prominence or renown, but of spirituality.” [4] Elder Bruce R. McConkie concurred:

“In this life, those who are learned, who have intellectual capacity, who gain scholastic degrees, are held up to dignity and renown; their views are sought; their opinions are valued. But from the Lords eternal perspective, there is almost no language sufficient to depreciate the importance of intellectuality standing alone and to magnify the eternal worth of spirituality.” [5]

In the spirit of their Corinthian counterparts, some modern-day Church members who are also secular scholars suggest that the Church needs to change to fit the culture and intellectual climate in which it exists. In 1993 President Boyd K. Packer discussed having to deal with “the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals.” In Pauline fashion, President Packer explained, “The doctrines of the gospel are revealed through the Spirit to prophets, not through the intellect to scholars.” [6]

The intellect has little to do with the preaching of Jesus Christ’s gospel. Neither one’s measured IQ nor one’s academic credentials are a measure of righteousness. Those who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ do not necessarily come “with excellency of speech” (1 Corinthians 2:1–2). Testimony comes through the heart. Nineteen-year-olds would have destroyed the missionary efforts of the Church long ago if mature intellectual experience were required to preach the gospel. The Lord still chooses the “foolish things of the world to confound the wise . . . [and] the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27). Elder Neal A. Maxwell echoes Paul’s stance: “Whether . . . a bricklayer or an intellectual we all come to Jesus Christ in the very same way—through the Atonement and the submission of our wills to His.” [7]

The Corinthians had to be fed gospel milk because they were not yet able to bear the meaty doctrines (1 Corinthians 3:1–2). The ability to digest the meat of the gospel comes only through a Spirit-born testimony based on the doctrine of Christ, not through intellectual endeavors.

Inappropriate Actions

Corinthian Church teachers polluted pure doctrine by inappropriately bringing secular philosophies into Church meetings, espousing those ideas rather than the simple gospel. Paul had taught the gospel in its purity in Corinth; however, after he left, others improperly added the wisdom of men to the established doctrinal foundation. Paul responded: “As a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Corinthians 3:10). The master builders are the Apostles, who build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. Joseph Smith taught: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” [8]

In his metaphor of building the Church, Paul used “gold, silver, [and] precious stones” to symbolize doctrines laid upon the foundation of the Savior. Members in Corinth introduced into their preaching secular ideas, symbolized as “wood, hay, and stubble” (1 Corinthians 3:12). No member of the Church of Christ would consider building with such materials, but many symbolically bring less valuable curricula into their teachings. Some ancient and modern Saints argue that doctrines of the gospel are logically or factually unsupported, unsubstantiated, or old-fashioned. Others suggest that man’s creative ideas are to be valued more than the simple truths found in apostolic teachings.

For instance, in Gospel Doctrine classes a teacher may try to share the stubble gleaned from some popular book rather than the gold of precious scriptures. Some may feel that if their bishop just understood certain acclaimed, secular business practices, he would make a better administrator. Or when members are asked to speak in sacrament meeting, instead of using a Book of Mormon text they may discuss a contending scientific theory or the latest local newspaper editorial. Others might feel their stake president would be more effective if he just understood certain counseling techniques and relied less on the Spirit. Paul is warning Saints not to replace the godly spirit with secular appearances.

In the same manner, some Corinthians who converted to the primitive Church had a philosophical view of the world to which they were trying to adapt the gospel. Ultimately many Corinthian Saints inappropriately adopted Christianity into the culture that permeated their society. This hellenization resulted with the capstone creeds of false doctrine securely fastened into some sects. President Joseph F. Smith echoed Paul’s warnings when he advised modern Saints that the preaching of false educational ideas disguised as truths of the gospel is a dangerous proposition.

Immorality

President Smith also warned of sexual impurity that threatens the Church from within. [9] Immorality among the Saints was also a constant concern for Paul.

As one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, Corinth enjoyed economic success.

Few documents teach so clearly and powerfully as does Pauls first epistle to the Corinthians that “riches produced luxury and luxury [often brings] a total corruption of morals.” [10] Corinth was one of the flesh pots of the ancient world, and Corinthian ports had a reputation of being promiscuous. Following Epicureanism they adopted a “debased way of life.” [11] Biblical scholar Russell P. Spittler explains:

“The two harbors of Corinth thus brought to the city numerous travelers, merchants, and sailors, who in turn brought their religion, their wealth, and their morals (or lack of them). . . . Corinth was also famed for its wickedness. Atop the Acro-Corinth . . . was a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. To this infamous place were attached professional prostitutes (some say 1,000) who had dedicated themselves to the goddess and amassed a fortune to the temple and thus for the city. . . . In fact, the Greek language developed the term to Corinthianize, which meant to live a life of drunken immorality.” [12]

Amidst this setting there were Corinthians familiar with Aristotle who believed the soul would be eternally “detachable from the body,” and looked upon the physical body as “the prisonhouse of the soul.” [13] Some followed the father of Greek asceticism, Pythagoras, and imposed food taboos, silence for novices, and sexual restrictions. These philosophical ideas developed into what biblical scholar E. R. Dodds calls the “origin of Puritanism.” Dodds tells us that “these beliefs promoted in their adherents a horror of the body and a revulsion against the life of the senses.” [14]

The philosophies explained above led many Corinthians to what I refer to as either an ascetic or libertine extreme. Libertines wallowed in fleshy pursuits of permissiveness, while ascetics denied the flesh and espoused celibacy. New Testament historian F. F. Bruce relates that “Paul found it necessary to deal with both tendencies simultaneously, saying ‘Liberty, not bondage’ to the one group and ‘Liberty, not licence’ to the other.” [15]

Chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians deals with libertines who are wallowing in the flesh. In Paul’s time it was common knowledge that an incestual relationship between a son and his stepmother was taking place, yet local leaders tolerated the situation. Paul declared the seriousness of this situation: “Such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 5:1). Paul had instructed in a previous epistle long lost to modern readers that individuals involved in fornication “should be handled for their membership.” Some may mistakenly think that Paul was counseling Church members to avoid individuals of other faiths who did not share the same values. Rather, his message was that those who made sacred covenants must understand the seriousness of sexual perversion. There are behavioral requirements for membership in the kingdom of God. Corinthians were exposed to the same alternative lifestyles that now face Latter-day Saints, including fornication, adultery, and homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9). Paul used clear-cut terminology to inform modern and ancient libertines that you cannot wallow in the flesh, whether in heterosexual or homosexual relations, and remain in full fellowship in the Church.

Paul then approached ascetics who degraded the physical body. Paul instructed that Saints’ bodies belong to the Holy Ghost (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Many in our society negatively compare their physical attributes to those portrayed in the media, thus becoming modern ascetics. The modern diseases of anorexia and bulimia are symptomatic of those who deny the flesh, while others denounce the physical relationship of legal, lawful, marriage.

Latter-day Saints can be grateful that Joseph Smith illuminates a verse that has been misinterpreted by ascetics for centuries. First Corinthians 7 of the King James Version begins with an unrealistic assertion: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Corinthians 7:1). This instruction seems particularly out of place as the next few verses highlight intimacy within the marriage bond. Joseph Smith divulged that this statement was part of a question asked in a communiqué: “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me, saying . . .” (JST 1 Corinthians 7:1). Apparently an ascetic had written Paul and asked if his views were correct. Paul answered that human intimacy is accounted for in the Lord’s plan. The solution to the desire for human intimacy is found in the marriage covenant: “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2). Using legal terms, Paul instructed that intimacy is an expected and vital part of the marriage contract:

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency” (1 Corinthians 7:3–5).

Some mistakenly interpret that Paul spoke only of common courtesy in this verse. In this context he speaks of the contractual agreement between husband and wife, including the role of intimacy. To paraphrase the verse: As a married couple, part of you now belongs to each other. Don’t defraud or keep back what you promised to give. Grant your spouse your sexual monopoly and do not deny that access, because if a couple spends too much time apart, Satan will gain leverage.

Readers will also notice that Paul does not mention procreation in these verses. Paul would take issue with those who preach that the only reason for the physical relationship in a marriage is for the begetting of children. No other scriptural writer comes close to being as candid or positive about the role of physical intimacy in marriage.

Latter-day Saint scholars have consistently agreed that Paul was married. [16] His knowledge of an intimate relationship is clearly manifest in his ability to guide others through marital questions and problems. Paul also knew of the relationship of celestial marriage to eternal life. Historically maligning Paul as a celibate, scholars have misinterpreted his statement that the unmarried should “abide even as I” (1 Corinthians 7:8). The Joseph Smith Translation again clears a discrepancy: Joseph Smith learned that Paul counseled young people to go on missions before they married (JST 1 Corinthians 7:29–34). Though wanting his missionary force to grow, Paul counseled prospective missionaries: “If they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Corinthians 7:9). Modern mission presidents would concur that if a missionary’s heart is back home with his girlfriend, he had better change his focus or stay home.

Later in chapter 7, Paul describes the circumstances in which marriage is recommended: “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry” (1 Corinthians 7:36). Perhaps in our generation priesthood bearers would instruct a seemingly confirmed bachelor with Lehi’s words to “arise from the dust, my sons, and be men” (2 Nephi 1:21). Confronting ascetic and libertine views, Paul’s treatise supports the marriages of ancient and modern Christians alike.

Insubmissiveness

Paul’s epistle also defines other eternal truths about the relationship of husbands and wives: “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Some who read this verse misinterpret Paul’s words. In error they feel Paul implies that women are at the bottom of a continuum of value. Paul’s focus in this verse is not on gender but on the role of husbands and wives. Paul is not talking about an individual’s value; rather, he is describing a flowchart of administration.

In the kingdom of God everyone is in submission to a higher authority. Submissiveness is not gender based, nor does it demean the one who is presided over. It does not lessen Christ to be submissive to Elohim, nor a bishop to be submissive to a stake president. Every Latter-day Saint is voluntarily submissive through common consent with the understanding that those placed above them are to serve as stewards.

Some err in associating the word submissive with being inferior. In 1998, while visiting Salt Lake City, members of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee counseled, “‘Submit’ is not a negative word,” rather it implies a covenant commitment where “a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” [17] That covenant commitment is made with marital vows. Paul’s paradigm for the husband and wife relationship was Jesus Christ and the Church (see 1 Corinthians 11:1–3). Could a woman ask a husband to treat her better than Christ treats His Church? Paul was perfectly comfortable with women teaching, counseling, testifying, praying and exhorting—but not ruling, organizing, or presiding over a branch (see 1 Corinthians 11:13; 14:34; 1 Timothy 5:14).

Paul honored, loved, and showed concern for women (see Philippians 4:3). The degradation of women did not come through Paul or the other original Apostles. John Bristow enlightens us: “It was Socrates who immortalized the Athenian disdain toward women. Often referring to women as ‘the weaker sex,’ he argued that being born a woman is a divine punishment, since a woman is halfway between a man and an animal.” [18] As Greek philosophy pervaded the Christian Church’s thinking, it not only accelerated the apostasy but also included an apostate perception of women. A book entitled Women in Jewish Law and Tradition advocates such an apostate view of females:

“Augustine wondered how a man could possibly love his wife, knowing what she is and what she represents, and concluded that he should love her as a Christian is commanded to love our enemies.’ The ascetic Church Fathers identified women with sexuality, which they equated with filth. Their horror of sexual relations became transposed into a horror of women.” [19] In contradiction Paul taught, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11).

Indiscretion

Along with addressing marital partnerships, Paul also applied the gospel to other social relationships. “Temples and meals in Greco-Roman society functioned in diverse ways. Some meals were knowingly offered to a god while others were not; some meals were held in temples, others were not. The line between the ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’ was not always clear.” [20] Members sought Paul’s clarification regarding the practices of eating idol meat or attending dinner parties held in pagan temples. Reading these verses, one may think that these subjects are irrelevant. For instance, no one would go to a local grocery store and say to the butcher, “I want to buy this T-bone, but I need to know if it has been offered up to Zeus.” Such a question would be absurd, but couched in this ancient social problem is great insight that can be applied to modern-day situations.

Paul’s response to the question of eating idol meat is found in chapter 8: “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:4). Though in theory eating idol meat had no religious significance for Christians, Paul adds:

“Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?” (1 Corinthians 8:9–11)

Paul applied the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself to this social situation. In some contexts, eating meat offered to an idol is correct; in others, inappropriate, depending on how it affects everyone involved. Paul admonished: “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake” (1 Corinthians 10:25). Paul instructs that the Corinthian Saints need not ask where the meat they are going to buy came from unless someone else makes an issue out of it; then the Saints are not to buy it. Church educator Michael Wilcox adds: “Some, he argued, may eat meat because of the examples of other Saints, or through peer pressure, but feel it is wrong. Thus, they would violate or weaken their consciences.” [21] The conscience of one’s neighbor becomes more important than the principle. The same action may be right or wrong, depending on the context.

Perhaps Paul would say in our day, “If there is something you do, even though it is not a sin, if you put your rights ahead of the spiritual welfare of another, you are in the wrong.” In other words, avoid offense. A liberty must not become a stumbling block to a neighbor’s testimony, because all people progress in the gospel of Jesus Christ at different paces. “Some members of the Church are being taught elementary courses; others are approaching graduation and can do independent research where the deep and hidden things are concerned. All must learn line upon line and precept upon precept.” [22]

Paul asks Christians to be discreet. He is not referring to the commandments but to those issues that have not been defined by the Brethren. Modern-day issues to which we can apply this Pauline principle include discretionary Sabbath activities, dress, dating practices, and a host of other issues. When in gray areas, we must each come to our own conclusions; but at the same time, as covenant Christians, we must be aware of how our interpretation affects others. We may have a hard time exercising such discretion with others’ feelings, but as Wilcox promises: “The blessings for decisions of charity above decisions of freedom will be an increase in our own individual sensitivity to the Holy Ghost as well as greater spiritual power.” [23]

Insecurity

Paul also taught the Corinthians about spiritual gifts. Hearing there were divisions among the Saints at Corinth, Paul wrote that he partly believed what he had heard (1 Corinthians 11:18). It had been reported that at sacrament meetings, some were standing and speaking in tongues in the middle of others’ talks, and often there was no interpretation of the tongues (1 Corinthians 14:27–28). Those exhibiting the gift of tongues or other spiritual gifts would boast of their talent. Church members who were insecure with their testimonies, personalities, or efforts were trying to compete with one another through spiritual gifts.

Aware that spiritual gifts increase one’s feelings of worth, Paul taught that spiritual gifts are not achievements, though they do add to a developed life and sense of worth. He encouraged the Saints to “covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31). When a Saint develops and uses spiritual gifts for the purpose the Lord gave them, a person’s sense of worth is developed. Elder McConkie concurred: “Suffice it to say that true greatness, from an eternal standpoint, is measured not in worldly station nor in ecclesiastical office, but in the possession of the gifts of the Spirit and in the enjoyment of the things of God.” [24] Gifts are to be used for edification of the Church, exhortation, comfort, and the profit of all including oneself (see 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7; 14:2–3, 12). As Elder Robert D. Hales instructed, it is through the spiritual gifts that “our true destiny will be fulfilled.” [25]

Paul related each gift to a member of the body: “There should be no schism in the body; but. . . the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:25). Paul listed the spiritual gifts in pairs, showing they are to be used in conjunction with the gifts of others ultimately to bless each other’s lives (1 Corinthians 12:5–10). He suggests: “When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Corinthians 14:26).

Every converted member of the Church has one or more gifts of the Spirit, and to deny the possession of at least one spiritual gift is demeaning (D&C 46:11). Elder Marvin J. Ashton counseled: “One of the great tragedies of life, it seems to me, is when a person classifies himself as someone who has no talents or gifts. When in disgust or discouragement, we allow ourselves to reach depressive levels of despair because of our demeaning self-appraisal, it is a sad day for us and a sad day in the eyes of God. For us to conclude that we have no gifts when we judge ourselves by stature, intelligence, grade-point average, wealth, power, position, or external appearance is not only unfair, but unreasonable.” [26]

Paul makes it clear that the three gifts of faith, hope, and charity are preeminent. One’s self-worth is especially dependent on the possession of charity. This truth becomes clear when Paul discloses that if “I . . . have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). Paul was not saying an individual lacking charity is worthless. Even the most wicked and vile of God’s sons or daughters is valued and loved by Him. Paul suggests that without charity, we will feel like nothing. Jealousy, the antithesis of charity, is personal frustration at another’s success, which ultimately diminishes one’s own personality and achievement. On the other hand, “charity is the ability to make life more meaningful for others.” [27] If we are devoid of charity, we will also be devoid of self-worth and will feel insecure as we pass through mortality.

Guidance for the Church

Paul held at bay the hellenization of the Corinthian Church. His doctrine continues to denounce the problems of intellectualism, inappropriate actions, immorality, indiscretion, insubmissiveness, and insecurity. Though the tactical dimensions of life have changed since Paul wrote his epistle, this storehouse of gospel knowledge still provides guidance as Paul calls the Corinthian Saints to repentance through a letter. Ultimately, however, early Christians did not heed Paul’s correction, and apostasy developed. Elder Hartman Rector Jr., emeritus member of the First Quorum of Seventy, explained: “Paul was trying to call people to repentance by writing them letters. Nobody has ever been called to repentance by a letter yet because you have to have a face-to-face confrontation. That’s when the Spirit can tell you things about the person that they won’t tell. We have lost a kingdom from the earth five times because we couldn’t get together to handle the transgressors. If we don’t handle transgression, the Church fills up with fornicators and adulterers and the Lord disowns it. He’s done it five times, and he will do it again. But it won’t happen again, [because] we will handle transgression.” [28]

Paul still calls us to repentance through the verses of 1 Corinthians as we struggle with the same problems. However, unlike the dispensation of the Corinthians, ours will not collectively apostatize.

The scenario at the beginning of this paper—the problematic branch in a secluded area of the world—no longer exists. Through the blessings of modern technology, words of the apostles and prophets are as near as a mouse click. Though our dispensation will not end in apostasy, there is no such blanket promise to each individual. By applying Paul’s great treatise of doctrine contained in 1 Corinthians to our individual lives, we can avoid the “Is” of Corinth and deter personal apostasy.

Notes

[1] Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, April 1969, 138.

[2] David B. Seely, “Is Christ Divided? Unity of the Saints through Charity,’” in Studies in Scripture: Volume Six: Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987), 58.

[3] See Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974).

[4] Bruce B. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971), 2:316.

[5] Ibid., 2:327.

[6] Boyd K. Packer, “All-Church Coordinating Council Meeting,” 18 May 1993.

[7] Neal A. Maxwell, Documentary on Neal A. Maxwell by KUTV News, 2 February 1988. Video in Brigham Young University Religious Education Faculty Support Library.

[8] Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 121.

[9] Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939) 312–13.

[10] Hunter, in Conference Report, April 1969, 135.

[11] F. F. Bruce, New Testament History (New York: Doubleday, 1969), 42.

[12] Russell P. Spittler, The Corinthian Correspondence (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1976), 9–11.

[13] E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1951), 135, 143,149, 152, 154.

[14] Ibid., 152.

[15] Bruce, New Testament History, 325.

[16] For a treatise on Paul being married see Richard Lloyd Anderson, Understanding Paul (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 24–25,104–5.

[17] Art Toalston, “Southern Baptist Convention Takes Gospel to Salt Lake City,” www.bpnews.net (accessed 11 June 1998).

[18] John T. Bristow, What Paul Really Said About Women (San Francisco: Harper, 1988) 4.

[19] Michael Kaufman, Introduction to the Woman in Jewish Law and Tradition (New Jersey: Jason Aronson, 1993), xxiv.

[20] B. J. Oropeza, Paul and Apostasy: Eschatology, Perseverance, and Falling Away in the Corinthian Congregation (Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 65.

[21] S. Michael Wilcox, Don’t Leap with the Sheep (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001), 24.

[22] McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:324.

[23] Wilcox, Don’t Leap, 26.

[24] Bruce B. McConkie, The Promised Messiah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978), 574–75.

[25] Robert D. Hales, “Gifts of the Spirit,” Ensign, February 2002, 20.

[26] Marvin J. Ashton, “There Are Many Gifts,” Ensign, May 1987, 20.

[27] Hales, “Gifts,” 20.

[28] Hartman Bector Jr., interviewed by the author, David O. McKay Research Project, Brigham Young University, October 1996.